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the best.

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we left town for three nights and four days last week.
it was so good.
it’s ALWAYS so good to get away!
we stayed at The Ambassador in Oklahoma City.
it was a beautiful building… beautiful rooms… i was even loving the hallways!
craig said we had to eat local the whole time and it was a delicious decision.
we slept LATE.
we ate dessert.
we rocked out with the Avett Brothers… there was NO ONE there?!
they were A M A Z I N G.  :)
there were drunk 30 somethings wanting to fist fight because other drunk 30 somethings were being too noisy at the concert…  really?
and they were belching.
REALLY?  it always baffles me when grown ups act like that.
isn’t it written on my face that i am desperate for time away from child like behavior and have no patience for that nonsense?!
isn’t EVERYONE who is at a concert in the middle of nowhere on a thursday night?
isn’t that the thing?
and what adult belches in a crowd?
any who….
we saw movies.
he watched all the golf he wanted while i enjoyed pinterest and IG or crazy long showers.
we shopped.
we ate from food trucks.
we went to a street festival.
we worked out.
it was perfect.
another year we will go far away but for now ANY WHERE is good.
any where that i can have him all to myself to be able to have uninterrupted conversations.
and the sleep… ohhhh the sleep.
if you don’t get away often… YOU SHOULD for the sleep alone.
because you can become a different person when you get more than one full nights sleep at a time.
you BOTH can!
sleep does amazing things for our brains and our bodies!
you can BE a better mom and wife with sleep and rest!
if you have littles and it’s been more than 6 months since you’ve left them overnight… get planning.
if you have young kids who love to talk to you every waking moment…get planning.
if you have teenagers who talk back to you about anything and everything… get planning!
call your mom to watch your kids.  ask your friends.  find a college girl.  hire a nanny!
you need it.
i don’t know you but i know you need it.
as a mom…  as a wife… i know it.
and I KNOW without a doubt your husband needs “time  alone” with just his wife… not his kids’ mom.

:)

thanks Mr. D for a fabulous restful time together.
and for getting the strawberry cake.

 

Marjie - I read a quote yesterday that went like this:

“How to ruin your kid for life. Put your child’s needs over those of your spouse.”

Away time together is so necessary to sustain a healthy marriage and sanity for yourself! Great post!

Amy - Love your pictures! Sounds amazing!! You guys are so cute!

Jackie - Holy beautiful pictures, Batman! Love love love it. I’ve got 3 kids (6, 2, and 6 months) and ohmygoshyouresoright about the whole get-outta-there thing. Looks like I need to get planning!

Mickie Lara - LOVE seeing all of your pictures from your OKC adventure. I felt a bit like I was stalking you because I could almost always tell where you were from the pics…ha! So glad you had a great time and makes me want to do a Staycation at the Ambassador and eat at all of our great restaurants and food trucks!

tasha roe - So. Much. Fun!!!!!!
and daaaaayum, gurl! you’re lookin fine! you’ve always been adorable, but hello, miss foxy! and that polkadot rainbowy dress!!!! gah!!

Jenn - I’ve never been to Oklahoma, but it looks like I need to make a trip! Awesome, awesome pictures!

MP - We were just talking about a short getaway to OKC! AND, we were planning on staying at The Ambassador! Can you give me any restaurant recommendations? Also, where is the pic from with green table and yellow stool? I’m glad you had a good time and thanks in advance for any info!!!

Charly - One of my favorite cities!!! I’m glad you had a great time in OKC for your anniversary! Now I need to plan a weekend trip there to see all my friends…miss that town.

amy jupin - what is this fancy pants dress and that teeny tiny waistline i’m seeing?
we need a breakdown of outfits here.
and accessories.
and boots.
because if we are going to plan our trips, then damn it, i’m gonna need to know what to wear!

Lisa - Yes, yes and yes! Couldn’t agree with you more. Every married couple NEEDS time away. And it doesn’t have to be expensive! We don’t have much extra money so we find some cheap deal at a hotel close by and do that. Once a year probably. Even just a night away is so good for the soul. But 3 or more nights is amazing. One day my husband and I will be able to do a week vacation to some exotic location! But for now I’ll take those small, nothing real special, nights away. :)

Dianne - I just got back from a week away with my husband and the father of my five kids. I couldn’t agree more with your last statement. I am also glad you enjoyed my town – OKC. And glad I didn’t run into you anywhere because I would have totally embarrased myself. ;)

meg duerksen - MP – we ate at Iguana, Cheevers, Bleu Truck Park, Cafe do Brasil, Louies & Red Rock. We wanted to also eat at Stella and Waffle Champion. don’t wait till sunday morning for waffle champion. the line was OUT THE DOOR! i reccomend all the places we went!
ALL GREAT!
i don’t remember the store where the green thing was because it was at night and really crowded from the festival. it was semi close to the ambassador… 10 minute walk? it was a big place full of all second hand stuff. awesome, beautiful stuff…pricey though.

AMY JUPIN – that dress was at Anthro. i tried it on and put it back. :) i will gladly help you choose your outfits for a getaway. lets FaceTime! ha ha ha!

BRIANNA - oh goodness. that dress. the colored one with the polka dots… where is it from, it’s fabulous!!

Alicia @ Investing Love - I was just away on a girls weekend and I was amazed at how many of the other moms had NEVER left their kids. Why!? It is so soooo important to get away and refresh, especially with your hubby. We have not been away together in forever and we are needing it badly. Soon…very soon! Thanks for this. Also, jealous of the Avett Bros. You’ve got one on me! But I saw Mumford, so we’re even ;)

Tere - Wow, wow, wow.
Picture 42.
The waist.
So tiny.
Like one of the women in Mad Men. You look AMAZING.
And then the food….I describe a good trip by the great food. Yum.
I am so glad you had a great getaway with Mr. D.
xoxo Tere

Kristin S - I hope you bought that polka dot dress because you look hottie mchottie in that!!!!

laura oyler - i love that outfit with the dress, polka dot cardigan, and cowboy boots! how cute!!

Angela - Where is that cute lacy top from? Please don’t say from such-and-such-place-five-years-ago because I will be sad. ;) I’m not really a lacy person, but I’m feeling I should take the plunge.

So glad you and the Mister had a good, relaxing time!

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q & a

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hi.

photo 5

in the past i have asked YOU if you had questions for me.
and it has been fun.

:)

maybe it still is… we shall see.

so let’s hear it.
ask me anything you want.
i have nothing to hide… i am an open book.
it can be personal or not-so-personal.
questions with a long answer or ones that will be easy and quick.

something you have been wondering?
something you wished i would talk more about?
something i said i would answer but probably forgot to answer?

now don’t make this awkward…..

i don’t want to hear crickets when i hit publish.

(if i could put a wide-eyed emoji face here i would…)

Julie - Easy one for ya….one time you posted a pic of your morning coffee ingredients on facebook/instagram. Where did you get the nifty lil green whisk thingy you use?? :)

Hannah - On a scale of 1-10 how hard is martas sugar detox challenge?! Annnnd on a scale of 1-10 how much did you love it?! I keep trying to convince myself to do it… How did you not cheat with kids and a husband around obviously eating sugar full foods?! Have you done it again/are you planning to?

Marsha Kern - How is Pam and her family???

Holly - Planning on doing any sales in your shop in the near future? I think my kitchen needs a certain cow print.

Carrie - Hi Meg,

My question… do you ever feel panicked that you have such a large following? I question myself a lot, and I wonder how you are so confident…

and another question… will I ever been chosen for Craft weekend? I’ve been on the list for about 4 years? :)

Really though, just my first question.

Lynda M. - Hi Meg! I would love to know what you eat on a average day and what type of exercise you are doing because you look fabulous!!

Sami Jo - So here it is – all official and schtuff – how do you juggle your walk with the Lord and focusing on getting healthy. I’ve found with almost ALL of my friends that once they start working out – that is ALL they talk about. ALL they think about. And I’ve mentioned to you, that I think you do this quite well. I am incredibly unhealthy and I realize this – so maybe that is why I notice them chatting so much about being and getting healthy – because I’m not and I feel bad about that — feel guilty. … I just want to get healthy and not have it consume my everything. … that’s for Jesus, ya know? And juggling your business and your family…? What are your best tips/advice, girlly? Thanks!!

lacey - I would love to hear about/see pics of a normal day for you. as a fellow mama & creative, seeing how your days flow would be fun.

Jenn - I hope you don’t mind a few questions. I know you said don’t make it awkward, so I’m just asking because you said I could..hee :) I’ve been on the CraftWeekend wait list for almost 3 years. I know you said it was a lottery, but how exactly do you pull the names? How’s Pam? Do you exercise everyday or do you rest on the weekends? Thanks for sharing your life. I love how God helped me find you and I draw such inspiration from your blog and you.

Kathy - OK, here it is … my BIG question … I really, really, really, really want to start something similar to your craft weekends here in CT … probably on a MUCH smaller scale at first but it’s just a HUGE dream of mine. How did you get it all started? How did you find sponsers, find people to come, etc ….
My house is WAY too tiny for a whole weekend thing – but maybe I could do it in a rented hotel space or just start with a ‘craft day’ to start … please help! =)
Kathy

Kathi - Hi Meg!
I’ve been following for a while, before Annie started school. Do you ever worry or had any problems putting your life online?

Heather G - How do you do it all?! You have a busy life, how do you keep track of it all? Do you have a command center or planner? Do you ever have days you are to overwhelmed and you just veg out on the couch.

Amy Griffin - So how would you feel, if my Bestie and I showed up at your house one day and asked you to take us to the Barn??? I am just joking…well kinda!! LOL

Katy Apicello - I have a few questions for you.. :)

What is your favorite meal to make for your family?

How is Lauren?

Will you do a tutorial on the craft weekend apron? Please? :)

Angela - I have followed your blog for many years, (it’s my favorite) I’ve watched it evolve which I realize is natural with the kids getting older and your priorities changing but recently I wondered if you’re tired of blogging or if you rather make it mostly about the craft house. So (finally, lol) do you think at some point your blog will only feature craft house posts?

elma - Hi Meg!! Just love love love your blog!! I was wondering where you shop for all your beautiful clothes?? How do you keep your house so clean? Hows Pam doing??

Ana - Had you lost a lot of weight recently? Do any of your kids play instruments?
I love your blog. It’s the one I never tire of.

Marjie - The question I always come back to after some of your “deeper” posts is…..What about your life makes you feel so (guilty, ashamed, unworthy, sad in your soul)? I don’t know if those are the best words to describe how I interpret your feelings from some of your posts. Was your post on your ‘Twenty Years” a freeing post for you? It was my favorite post ever!!!

Erin - Hi there! I have a random organization question for you–how do you store/wrap the bunting that you’ve made in the past? I have visions of mine turning into a Christmas-light-snarled mess of a nightmare! Thanks for (hopefully) answering. BTW, your blog is such an inspiration–bring on all that saturated color :)

Ellen - Hi Meg!! I love your blog…your reality, genuineness, acceptance and grace are so evident. Your sense of humor knocks it out of the park!! I have two questions, one of substance and one for fun. First, could you please describe how you and Craig keep your marriage happy and healthy? It is clear that you do a very good job of maintaining your connection. I am a therapist and am often asked for “the secrets” to a happy marriage. Jesus is number one….what are some others? Maybe Craig can give some input? Second, can we please see some more pics of your new home??? Pretty please with rainbow sprinkles on top!!! Thank you for being such a bright spot and blessing! You are adored! :)

Erin - What does the mister do for a living!?

Anessa - Okay I have a few questions for you.

If I recall you painted all the trim in the new house. Just wondering what sort of process you used and how you feel about it. I really want to paint all of ours but am a little nervous about it. Also how about an update on house projects?

Did I see you making a bunch of cute flower type pins that you were going to put in the shop? Did I just make this up? Were they in the Shop and I missed them?

How are the girls quilts they were making coming along? They looked like so much fun. Also have you done anymore projects from that cute “we Love to Sew” book?

Okay guess that is it for now :)

Jamie - Your blog is full of great ideas, crafts, dreams, etc. Ever thought about publishing a book??

Jenna - Nothing too serious here, but have you watched this video?! http://andreasnotebook.com/2014/09/hilarious-taylor-swift-pinterest-parody.html it is a good one for every crafty lady :)

Lisa - Hi Meg

I recall you saying that you consider yourself somewhat of an introvert. I’m wondering how difficult it is for you to do so many large group social things. You seem so outgoing! Thanks!

Em - Where are your favorite Kansas thrift stores or places to go treasure hunting? Or maybe some of your other favorite Kansas spots? I’m from NE Kansas but have a friend down your way. Also what do you consider a fair price for old quilts?

Elisa - how do we get more waffle & stanley pics?

how about a day in the life post (pick your most maxed day bc it always amazes me all that you get done)

can you do one of those tour guide posts for your area/region? I enjoyed your vacation post in St. Louis; added a lot of ‘must see’ to my vacay list

how do you incorporate your faith as a family in everyday living? how do you help guide your children to further grow in their personal faith?

broadly speaking, what line of work does your husband do?

so about those doggie pics… ;)

Lee Ann Willis - Hi Meg – I have been following your blog since 2008. I was curious since you don’t post about it much, how do you handle school work? How involved are you with projects and homework and how do you handle the evening chaos of dinner, homework & extracurricular activities etc?

I work full time and it seems impossible to fix dinner so I am a short order cook most nights for my 2 girls (age 12 and 9)and most things are processed foods.

Oh and one more question do you like Gilmore Girls? Seems the perfect show for you. :)

jessica - How do you manage to eat healthy with your kids and their junk food? Do you make separate meals for your family?

Amber - Hi! I’d love to know the deets on that awesome green stripey goodness behind the red lettered sign above the fireplace in the craft house. I’ve been dying over that thing since I first saw it!!

s - Will you and Kimberlee ever share craft weekend recipes??!!!

Carrie - Hi Meg! I second questions about Pam and your fitness/health/motivation.

Also, not trying to be controversial or stir up drama… But I don’t get/disagree with the commenter about shame/guilt etc…. Don’t know what that’s about? You seem so real and transparent and positive to me as well as connected to the good and bad that is life. Rock on.

Wendi - ditto to many of these questions…
curious about the reality of the sugar detox when feeding my young family.
would always love to hear more about your faith.
does sharing online ever make things weird/uncomfortable with your “real life” friends/family/acquaintances?
would also love to hear more about the craft weekend business…how you got started, more of the details of the business end, preparation reality, how your family handles it when your gone, etc.
I just have to say that I love your blog because you are so real…I think we would be friends in real life ;) thanks for sharing!!

Betsy - Meg…I love your use of colors…have you always been into color or only as an adult? Thank you! Betsy

Barbara (WA) - Just wondering if you have used the 21 Fix again? Inspired by you and some other bloggers I purchased the program but have struggled with buckling down and figuring out the food plan. And the DVD only worked in my hubby’s TV downstairs which is the room we are remodeling right now, poo. You look great so I decided to ask! (Oh, and I am probably old enough to be your Granny, heh!)

Jill D - I would love to know more about your recent trip to Liberia.

Rebecca - Nothing to ask, just a BIG HUGE thank you for never disappointing me over the years….I think the first time i read your blog was when you were having a Bible study at your house and you ran out of cheese for cheese dip and sent someone to a neighbor’s and discovered you were out of TP and sent someone to another neighbors and Annie comes downstairs with yellow paint all over her…You sent Talby up to look and she said, “mom, it’s bad” she had painted the tv, among other things. When I have the time I will go back and read. Ok, love you to pieces!

Jennifer R - Love your blog! Who are those adorable babies your girls are feeding? Do your kids have chores? If yes, do you reward them with allowance or something different? I find I do way too much nagging to get our girls to get things done (especially with our 8-yr-old dau). Any suggestions?

Angela - Will you ever take your *show on the road* and come to us in NC.?

Melissa - Faithful reader since ’08 :) love your blog.

Also patiently waiting to come to craft weekend :)

How are the kids doing? Esp. Lauren (i know she didn’t want to be on the blog much anymore). How do you train the pups?

Karen Boldt - As someone who comes from a Mennonite background, I see the name Duerksen and of course like any good Mennonite wonder if we could be distantly related?! Or more specifically I suppose to your husband if that is his last name. And Mennonite is a big word and means lots, to different people in different parts of the world. (I’m Canadian) So my question that I’ve often wondered is- do you and your husband embrace the faith of our Mennonite heritage?

Amy - It’s really inspiring to see you work on your weight loss. What is the most you ever weighed? How did you maintain a positive body image when you were heavier?

How did you learn to sew? And to do DIY projects?

What is your biggest struggle as a mother? What was your biggest struggle as a mother of young children?

Thanks for opening up to questions. I’m interested to read your responses.

Nicole - Would you ever sell your clothes you don’t wear anymore on your blog?? Like first come first serve type of thing? I love all the clothes you wear!!

Tammy - Meg, I’ve been following your blog for 6-7 years because it has always been fun to see what you’ve crafted, cooked & decorated next. I would love to know more about your spiritual side – your personal testimony, how you nurture your faith as well as your favorite books/devotionals. Thanks for continuing to share your life with all of us. Your blogging brings color to the world as well as to the heart. :)

Jacci in Ohio - Ok :) I’ll go.

I think we’re all tempted to think others think the same way we do, struggle the same way we do, work through things the same way… but, that’s not always true. It really may be that you’ve been able to walk away from the Craft House with no struggle… but, if not, I’d really like to hear more about what God has taught you through leaving that house. Our own family moved 5 years ago into a home that we’ve been remodeling since. It’s been a looooong, extended lesson for me in contentment, thankfulness, materialism, and what really makes a house “home”. It has exposed idols I didn’t realize I was clinging to. I struggled SO much with having most of my house ugly and torn up for years. I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work remaining. I know you and Craig have completely redone two homes. If you’ve had to work through struggles like that, I would be encouraged to read about them… and about what you’ve learned… where you are now.

Thanks, Meg :)

midwestmom - Will you please please please walk us through step by step pictures and descriptions to make a quilt with your daughter? I would so love to dothis! We are super beginners.
Also i would love to see more of your meals as someone else mentioned. I have done 2 – 30 day Challenges plus the Sugar Detox so I’d love to see what you are making now that you are eating healthy.
Also just want to say I’ve followed your blog for years. Way before the Craft House and it’s one of my favorites. And like several others, I’ve been on the waiting list since the day the waiting list was posted :) fingers still crossed!

kimberly oyler - why did you guys decide to move out of the craft house?

Angela - Hi, Meg! I’ve been reading for a few years, occasionally comment. I would like to ditto these questions: What does the Mr. do for a living? (Not specifics, just like what line of work) And would you ever post a tutorial for the ruffle aprons?

New questions: Where are your favorite places to buy cute, but inexpensive fabrics? I’m new to sewing. :) And finally, what is your full first name? I’ve randomly always wondered if you were Meg short for Megan or Meg short for Margaret or just Meg. Is that dumb? :)

Valerie Alicea - I am a long time blog reader, and have loved seeing you be so intentional about being creative with your kids. What tips do you have for doing crafty projects with a toddler?

Stephanie - One silly question I have–how tall are you? Your husband looks tall and so do your boys, but I know cameras can throw things off quite a bit. Random, I know.
I too have been wondering about Pam and her family. I think about them every time I hear the sad news about Ebola and Liberia.

Tina J - Hi Meg! Wondering what’s on your reading list and what music your listening to right now??

Georgia Newman - What advice would you give your 18yr old self?

Alicia @ Investing Love - I really wanna know your blog tips…like how to be so stinkin’ awesome. :)

Emily - Did the idea of 5 kids ever panic you? We just found out we’re pregnant with our 5th (a surprise) We will have 5 kids in 7 years and I feel a bit panicky. You seem to enjoy the chaos so much. Did it ever throw you?

Tracie - Hi Meg! Love your colorful blog, something I look forward to reading during my work day. So, are you interested in adopting a 30-something from California? We don’t have houses like yours, wide open fields and good thriftin’ out here on the west coast. I like to organize and make a mean homemade salsa! (Wouldn’t have to sign any official docs!) Ha ha ok—Would love to know more about the Craft House, the history, etc. Is life really that picturess and good in Kansas?? Last, I promise, How do you say not take home every treasure you come across when you take the girls antiquing?!? You pictures are dreamy

Tanya - I just like ya! Always have. The one and only blog I keep up with. Smiles and hugs :):):)

Michelle from Australia - I love the questions above. And love that two ladies have already asked exactly what was on my mind. I’ve been on the Craft Weekend waiting list for a few years now and would love, Love, LOVE to get my chance to come to Kansas. But coming from Australia a little forward planning (think…..a LOT Of forward planning!) would be involved. That doesn’t worry me. But realistically, am I ever likely to get chosen? Or should I just give up on it? Thank you for the gift of your blog Meg. It is often the bright point in my day.

Chelsea - My question is basically the same as Kathy’s in CT… how did you get started doing craft weekends and what tips would you have for someone wanting to do the same thing. I would love to do something like this but without a big internet following, a popular blog how is the best way to start working towards something like this. Thanks!

Lisa - Oops! My question disappeared from your comments
You’ve mentioned in the past that you consider yourself somewhat of an introvert. I think you seem very outgoing–always hosting or participating in large social groups. Is that challenging for you?

Janel - Will I ever get picked to come to craft weekend? It’s been years waitng…. LOL!

I pray for Pam and her family….. Will they be coming back to the US for safety reasons?

I like you. That is all…..

Candace - I would love to hear more about your kiddos younger years… It is encouraging to me to hear that my kids will turn out okay since yours seem wonderful! :)

Michelle Deckert Richmond - You are very brave to do this. You had an amazing idea when you thought to open up your charming home for craft weekends. I would like to know if you had to work hard to convince the rest of your family. I know at first they left for the weekends (hard enough) but then,when you left your house completely and went to the rental, how much convincing did that take to get everyone to agree? By the way….I love your blog…it’s the first one I read once I get my 4 girls off to school in the mornings. Michelle from Canada.

Hannah - What are some of your favorite blogs?

Rachel - I adore your openness! You recently posted about Lauren arriving early in your marriage, and talked about her briefly. It was great to hear more about her. I’ve notice that she’s not on your blog that much. Is that by her choice? How’s your relationship with her?

Lachalle Jones - Those lovely white IKEA sofas . Love them /hate them . Give the good the bad and the ugly about them . Are they HIGH maintenance? Thanks lots they are on the wish list and might make the cut .

Debbie S - Yesterday I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to paint our two LR bookshelves white and he looked at me like I was c.r.a.z.y. My first thought was, “how in the world did Meg D. talk her husband in to moving out of a home they worked so hard to remodel and make their own?” Seriously, TWO bookshelves. So, spill it…how did you get your husband and kids on board with moving and so much change? :-)

shannon - I want to know about the green thing you use to make your coffee. I saw it on instagram and am dying to know. I need to quit my love affair with coffemate!
Also, could you think up a cute Christmas gift for grandparents? ha. I started following you way back when you had the snowman handprint ornaments.

caroline helmers - I’m curious how you paint your furniture. Maybe you’ve shared before, but your results look great. I know you shared your milk painting, but what about your new table and hutch?

Kellie - I would love it if you did ‘a day in the life’ post!

Bree - 1. I would love to know more about how the Craft House came to fruition?
2. Seeing the wonderful ideas and the theme of Camp Create has been inspiring to me to find my creative side again! What books, blogs, etc. do you find inspiring? I have poured so much into my family and the “daily routine” (a beautiful blessing!), I don’t really know where to start to find that creative outlet again while balancing life. We have 5 kiddos as well :)
Thank you!

Patti - Hi from Canada!
Love your blog and all the fun things you do. Question: do you need a lot of sleep?

Andrea - I’d love to know more about being a young mom and Lauren. I know you’ve said she doesn’t like to be as big of a part of the blog now that she’s older, but I’m curious about her! I’m also wondering how you and Craig keep the spark alive with such busy lives! Thank you so much for sharing so much of your life with us. I looooooove your blog! By far my favorite!

Amber - Favorite books on faith? I’m going through a season where I am trying/struggling/fighting to reconnect with my faith and my spiritual side. I am currently reading Cold Tangerines, and feel as though my heart is enveloped in one warm hug. :) Thanks!

Peta - No question just wanted to pop I and tell you that you are glowing! You look fabulous! X

Lisa - Please please please help this mama out! How do you manage 5 kids messes? Do you have routines for picking up/cleaning/chores? Do they just know to put their crap away? I’m losing my mind with my 4 kids. Mostly cause I’m pregnant with #5 and so exhausted. But I need help! Seriously! We live in a small home and I can’t seem to get them to do what I want…. Ok, this sounds kinda pathetic. But any tips are welcome!
And PS- I do not need a perfectly clean house. I’m really ok with a bit of chaos and mess. But it has gotten OUT OF CONTROL. (Now I need an emoji with the tongue sticking out looking like a crazy person!)

Kat - Meg, I would like to know if cutting out sugar is what has really helped you lose weight overall?
I have been going to the gym 4-5 times a week for 18 months and it seems to be only when I really cut down the sugar and carbs that I can notice a difference with my stomach and weight loss.
I only have a few kilo’s to go, but being 42 and having had 4 babies, it is not as easy as it used to be.
You look fabulous, so I thought I would ask :)

Julie - Hey Meg- I love your whatever blog!
I have been pondering blogs lately, as I analyze way too much, so here is my question:
Do you ever feel at all creepy that total strangers like to know all about you and see what you are up to with family holidays and what you eat and stuff, and do you ever feel like not writing your blog anymore? (Please don’t stop!)
sometimes I wonder why I don’t want to get behind on reading your blog, and then I ask myself, this lady is a complete stranger, so why am I so interested in her family photos and her life updates??
Sometimes I feel like a creep, but then I remember that hey! This is a blog and since blogs came about we get to invade on strangers life’s and it’s not weird?! kinda like people watching in the mall, only bloggers volunteer more info!! What did we do before blogs?! Anyway, deep thoughts, I know.

Julie - I love your blog, the colour and creativity you share.
What I would like to know is do you ever feel down and how do you cope with life’s curve balls. My family and I have had a hard year, big unexpected house repairs and bills, a car accident, and now a disappointment with the high school we were hoping to get my daughter into.
Thanks for giving us the chance to ask questions about your life.

Nicola - Were you born into a religious family? If not what is your conversion story? If you were what was your experience like? and how is it now raising your family?

Julie W - Hi Meg! I would love to see a run down of a normal day in the life of Meg. I know you juggle all kinds of schedules for your kids but still manage to fit in your blog, crafting, working out, etc, etc.

I was lucky enough to have been chosen to attend Craft Weekend 16, so I know what an awesome, cool, laidback kinda gal you are! I feel for these ladies who have been on the CW waiting list for years. I was on for about a year before I was chosen, so hang in there ladies who are waiting! IT’S AWESOME and SO worth the wait!

Thanks Meg; love your blog and seeing your pics on IG! Take care. ~Julie

Sheila - Besides your husband, do you have a best friend – someone you talk to every day no matter what? Are you and your sister close? How about you and your mom?

Nancy - I’d like to know why I have to “close” all these ads when I come to read it. Not to mention the “sponsored” posts. I miss the old Meg, reading about your family and recipes and “life”. It’s sad that this blog has become all about “money”. And, since everyone will tell me that you have a right to make money (I agree) and if I don’t like it, I can stop reading (also correct), I will say farewell.

Amy - What are your favorite Christian based clothing companies? I love wearing shirts that make you stop and think while supporting small businesses. The one you’re wearing above is a great example!

Emily - You took pictures of my little boy Brody for his 1st and 2nd birthday. We still love these pictures…Will you ever go back into photography? Also, I would love to see some more of your cooking/recipes. Your meatballs are one of our favorite meals.

LaDonna Abbott - During your craft weekends there is a shopping trip to “the barn” each time. Is it open to the public and if so where is it located at? I would love to visit the next time I am in the area.

carrie - I’d love to know if you’ve always been crafty/artistic? And how is Lauren liking college? Some others have suggested a “day in the life”- I would love that too!

amy jupin - ok, here goes:
1. let’s talk about music? i need some new stuff. what is your latest jam?
2. can we please have a craft weekend alumni party? five year reunion?
3. do you want to come over tonight? bring kimberlee. and jana. that would be nice!!!!!!!!!
4. how are you liking your new house?

Liz - What’s the difference between raising boys versus girls for you? If you could live any place other than Kansas, where would you go?

Lauren M - Rainbow sweaters coming soon? My babies ‘need’ them this fall :)

Cyndiloohoo - Just wanna say how fabulous you look in that pic. I can tell you have lost weight and your hair is super cute. How about a tutorial on the craft apron for all of us who will never be able to attend a craft weekend and please share some of the great recipes you guys use on craft weekends?

gretchen - You’ve done an amazing job of being a great mom and pursuing your own interests. How do you balance it? My kids are getting older and it seems that my life is consumed with their activities. I think you’ve accomplished a healthy balance of being involved with your kids and also carving out space for your own identity. Any suggestions? Do your kids complain when you have events/craftweekend/projects? How do you work it out as a family?

Jennifer Burton - I would love to know about your career background. You mentioned a job you had when Craig was still in college. What other jobs have you done over the years? Do you consider blogging a job or just for fun? Have you taken classes or are you just self-taught on the things you enjoy/excel at doing (i.e. photography, sewing, etc.)?

Elizabeth - What is your most proud moment to date? Your biggest regret? What do you see your life looking like in 20 years?

Michelle - Meg – I would love for you to share some family recipes with us. You look fantastic! Do you eat the same meals as your family or do you fix special meals for yourself?? I did the sugar detox with Marta but I am having a hard time getting my family to eat healthier too…. Where do you find recipes that are kid-approved and are quick to prepare? Thanks!

Ronda - I would also like to know how you got craft weekend started: ideas, sponsers, supplies, etc.? As I would love to come to one of yours at some point and see how it is all run (fingers crossed that I get picked). Also can’t wait to see pictures from Camp Create!

Jessica - It seems like Lauren doesn’t get a lot of attention on the blog (perhaps by choice and because she’s out of the house)
You’ve been candid about difficulties you’ve had with Lauren as a teenager. I’m wondering how things are now and if you could let us know why things were so difficult….
I’m dealing with a difficult pre-teen myself.
I know you love Lauren, but her photos are few and far between (so it seems) – sorry if this seems harsh or negative

MollyL - Hi Meg,

First off where did you get that cat mug?? I love it. I am so glad it didn’t fall off your hood the other day. :-)

I have been a reader of your blog for awhile now. I like that you keep it real on your blog.

My question would be how to start my daughters, who are 10 and 12, off on crafts. My youngest is special needs, but she can do crafts, it’s just not sure which ones would be easiest for her to do. We don’t have a large craft space (kitchen table) so don’t want a lot of messy stuff to start out with, till I see how they would do. If you have any favorites that you would recommend to start out with, and crafts they can do together as there is an age difference. We have done small crafts together, but they are more crafty than me, but I want them to have fun.

Thanks!

Molly

Wendy C - Hi, Meg – would love to have your recommendations from your trip this summer -we are starting to plan now for two weeks out West. Thanks!

Kelly - Your blog is my favorite too!! Our first 5 kids are close to the same ages of yours so i love following your family since we seem so much alike. Anyhow, do you ever wish you had home-schooled? Our kids are all in public school and busy with sports and activities like yours. But sometimes when I come across other Christian mom blogs or IG where they are home-schooling I feel guilty (but not convicted or called) So I guess I was just wondering if you ever feel that way too?

elizabeth - are you going to create another beautiful master bathroom like you had at the craft house? it looked so beautiful and relaxing – exactly the bathroom i would put in my house if i had the budget to do it :)

jenny - how do you control the use of electronics with your kiddos? is there a set routine?

Mindy - Do you think the use of color in our homes (brights vs. neutrals especially) has any psychology behind it? Okay, fine this is an obvious plea for free therapy… :P

Janelle - One of the things I enjoy about your blog is that even though you post beautiful pictures…you also post “real” pictures. My favorites are when your house is a mess…and I loved the story about when you were being romantic in the bathroom and someone threw up in a laundry basket in the hallway.

Anyways…my question/request would be for you to share some parenting experiences…especially regarding teenagers. What are your thoughts on technology, house rules, homework battles, house jobs, etc. etc. You seem to be a really down to earth nice person and so I’d love to hear how you deal with the everyday stresses…that we all know are just minor stresses…but yet stress us all out! Totally understand if the kids don’t want to see that in your blog though ;)

Janelle - Thought of one more very important comment! Do those dog off the couch things REALLY work????

Jessica Jackson - Hi Meg!

I’m a long time reader and an amateur photographer and I was wondering if you’d consider doing a little photography tutorial post. I love all your candid action shots with your kids (close up of frogs/bugs in hands, vacation shots, etc.) and I’m struggling with a lot of what I assume are basics when I try to capture that stuff with my own family. Your shots are always so vivid and in focus! Do you post process? Do you shoot in JPEG or RAW? Do you find yourself shooting mostly at a particular focal length? Favorite lens? Ahhh! Can you just come mentor me in Virginia?

Also, you’re amazing. I have no clue how you keep your house clean and manage to exercise and run a blog and business and everything else you do. I have 3 kids (youngest is 1 oldest is 5) and I’m lucky to get the dog puke picked up off the floor by the end of the day. Share your secret!

Meg - Do you miss the photography biz? I love looking at all your pix of craft weekends and your family, but I wonder if you ever want to return to capturing other peoples families (and newborns, gosh, the newborns!)

Jackie - My question is about those two adorable babies in the pictures for this post. What is their story?

beth larson - Meg! LOve your LoNg haiR! You’re so pretty…here’s my question: have you and Craig ever struggled (as a couple?) He seems like an awfully awesome guy and of course we all love you- but most of us have some bumps in our road as a married couple.

Nancy - The question I asked very kindly yesterday is still “awaiting moderation”. Since this won’t make it out of “moderation” either and you will certainly see it, I would like to say that I believe only posting “positive” comments is very telling and shows your true colors. You most definitely aren’t willing to answer ANYTHING. You aren’t an “open book” and your lack of response only proves that this has become a place where Meg gets paid big money for getting stroked all day every day. I asked a simple question. It’s obvious you make money from the blog-the gajillion ads I have to click through just to see a post make that clear. Why not just own it and say so?

Melissa - All the amazing color in your home amazes me, esp. the vibrant green hutch and your dresser you did with milk paint! What does hubby really think about the color?! Does it scare him a little when you come up with these ideas or is he just amazing and completely on board?

Laura h - Dear Meg,
I am afraid of color in my house.
Are you ever afraid of color?

Karen Groves - Have you ever been to Coloma, MI? That is the little town where my sister lives. A while back you posted pictures of a vacation you took to Michigan, and it looked so much like my sister’s town. Sometimes when I’m visiting her I think, “I wonder if Meg Duerksen was here.”

Jessica - Why do you still have the mPix ad on your website that always say that you can win free 4x6s but the contest ended like forever ago?

Deb - How many over 50 year olds read you, and if they do, would you know it?

Susan - Hey Meg, Will you do more vlogs? Really love those!

Corinne - Does your wash ever get done? I have 4 kids and my doesn’t get close to it. How do you handle it with 2 homes to look after? I also wanted to add a comment. I first found your blog after apple picking one fall when I was looking for apple recipes. I made your delicious apple bars and remember you had a cute picture of your girls on the swings or trampoline and I was hooked. I love your cheerful pics and all the recipes and art projects. I have used many of them over the years.

Laura - Can you provide a link for that fabulous tee shirt “Everything Will Be Amazing”?

Alisa - Is your business profitable? Did you work before you started Craft Weekend & the Craft House?

Jenni - Of course I want to ask you how you do it all?! Five kids, a cool independent business, an adorable house, an exercise regime, and activities, activities for the kids. Plus you always look great. Personally I feel frazzled 75% of the day. I have three kids and am a high school teacher. My kids are young, though. Are you feeling like life is a lot easier with older kids or no? Thanks

Angela - I thought of a second question. :-) What size jar do you recommend to use when you make the pineapple vodka? Hope you enjoyed you anniversary trip!

Linda - M, I’ve been reading since Annie was little.I’m going to ask some very personal questions, but as an interested reader and parent, not a combatant.
You’ve been very open about getting married after becoming pregnant with Lauren. Does she ever get upset about strangers knowing that? Do any of the kids get “squicked” out about this information coming out? How do you handle the sex talks with them (especially if you promote abstinance)?

Kathy - You are so adorable! I love how natural and genuine you are in your posts. Also, I just spent 18 months in KS. serving a mission for our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and I had no idea you were so close! I really want to have a craft retreat at your place someday (bucket list). Oh yeah, question: Who are the adorable black babies you are holding in the picture above? Did I miss the story? XO ~K.

Brantlee - I love it when bloggers do a “day in the life” post. Would you consider doing one?

regina - hi, this is pretty cool that you are doing this…so
-What does Craig do for a living?
-It seems like you have a wonderful relationship with your children…how do you it? you seem like the very cool mom.
-How did you come up with Talbys name?

Laura Pryor - Hi Meg! I spent last weekend at Craft House and I just have to say that I have never seen a more beautiful, creative and incredibly inspiring home. I didn’t want to leave and I already can’t wait to go back! I had such a great time with my crafty friends. Thank you so much for having our group! I purchased some prints, and am currently scouring the internet for just the right ball fringe and pom poms. I’m digging out all of my repurpose projects and favorite fabrics and collection of vintage embroidery hoops. We like seriously need to be friends!!! HA!!! Thank you again! I couldn’t have possibly enjoyed myself more!
Thank you!
Laura

Suzy - How much time do you spend online each day? You seem to do SO MUCH all day long but yet you have to spend time on the blog, editing photos, searching internet for pics to post, etc.

Erin - Do you ever worry about putting your life online for the world to see? My husband is in law enforcement and I often worry about posting info about my babies, house and life on my blog for security reasons!

Shari - How are the chickens? I really enjoyed seeing the up close and personal pics of them. Love your blog!

Andria - Can you recommend a fairly decently price pair of cross trainers? I’m going to start a fitness regime – treadmill & outdoor walking, as I become more fit I will invest in better footwear, but as a total newbie, I don’t want to shell out $200 right away. Thanks meg!

Katie - I’ve been reading for 2-3 years now and have a few questions (easy and hard!):
What kind of music do you like? And who gets to pick the music when you’re driving with kids?
How’s Lauren? (I know this has already been asked a lot)
Do you or anyone in the family miss the farmhouse? I think I would have a really hard time moving away from there, but maybe just because I’ve always wanted to live in the country.

Katherine - I love your Q&As! do you have any photography tips or tricks?

April R - thanks for being a light.
you inspire good – so I’m wondering who/where do you go to be inspired each week?
Also, how’d you learn the tech side of blogging?

Ann Marie - Hi Meg! I’m curious… Did you take classes for photography or was it just something you just sort of picked up? I think I’ve read it on your blog before (old blog) but I’d love to hear how you got into photography. I love all of your work!

Sarah W. in Oregon - Happy Birthday, Meg! I just remembered we were born on the very same day and popped in to say hello. I wish you piles of blessings in our last year of thirty-something-ness.

Christina - Where do you store all of your photos? I have online storage, but still have a hard time removing them from my computer. My computer is bogged down because of it. Help!!

Traci - What has been your hardest moments as a mom to a teen daughter? I have 2 and WOW is it HARD!!!

Janel - Meg~ I’m wondering if you find it harder to make friends as you get older? (Probably not since I imagine everyone would love to be your friend!!) We had 4 of our close friend couples divorce over the last couple years and thru that I’ve lost many close relationships. I find myself in search of some more good friendships but at 45 I’m having a hard time figuring out how to cultivate new friendships. Any advice for meeting new people, starting to build friendships, and stepping out of my comfort zone in finding friends?

jodie - hey meg! how are you going to pick which questions to answer?!!
heheheh

Meredith Feisel - Meg! 2 questions. I liked the question of how you got into photography. I am a photographer myself (husband is professional) and that would be a fun thing to find out. :) Also I would love if someday you could make an info packet or something creative for us to know how to run our own craft weekends in our areas, like a breakdown. I’ve been wanting to go for 4 years as well. I thought about trying to have a girls night at my house but not sure where to start.

Meredith :)

P.S. Can NOT wait for the answers post. Fun idea!

Carrie - My first question is related to home & contentment. When you moved out of the AMAZING craft house & moved into the rental – was there a difficult period of adjustment or contentment issues? We currently have a large, beatiful home but it’s alot of money & energy to maintain. As I get older (40 next year), I’m craving more time & freedom and want to downsize, but I’m so worried that I will end up not being content with “less” & will end up regretting the decision. My second question(s) are all related to the new house. How are you feeling about the new house? I think all your previous homes have older, fixer uppers. Your current home is much more newer/modern than all your previous homes. Was that a conscious decision? Were there other factors that weighed more heavily than design or asthetics? How come you didn’t share your home search with us? (That would have been so fun to follow along window shopping homes with you!!)

Kassondra - do you someday plan on moving and living back at the craft house?

Robin Allen - My question is (junker to junker) and ( lover of all things colorful and vintage )..where do you thrift shop and antique shop?? We too live in Kansas and my friends and daughter and I are always up for road trips to try new stores…do tell the name of the store and the towns they are located in…We can’t wait to go…you always find the coolest stuff!!

Jen - You look wonderful. Your new lifestyle is paying off with all of your healthy eating and working out. I loved your post about getting away! Thanks for the nudge. :) Enjoy fall.

Karina - How are you going to find the time to read and answer all these questions?? OK, that was NOT my real question…I am obsessed with convincing my husband we need a new kitchen and need more details about yours. I KNOW you posted about the reno already, but there is a photo of your husband eating breakfast at the new island and it is too small to Pin It…I want to show my husband what your kitchen looks like in detail and give him some idea of what it cost. So can you share about your kitchen again, please??? :-)

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more random things…

i thought this sounded genius and i am TOTALLY buying those two things at the store today.

i am dying to share about Camp CREATE but i am awaiting a new computer.
because mine died.
DEAD.
sad face.

 

so until i am back to my old techy self (HA!) i will share more things i have found that i like.

pumpkin-french-toast5+srgb.
ummmm…. yes.
Pumpkin french toast muffins.  These look amazing am i right?

 

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i wonder if my husband worries about coming home to a scene like this one evening…

“what? i saw the paint.  i had this beautiful dress.  this wall was blank.  one thing lead to another. ”

 

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a new favorite color pallete.  :)

 

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now that is truth.
i mean… it kind of goes against the tooth whitening video that i just shared.

but it’s still true.

 

 

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i am a lover of this kind of mosaic.
i prefer them to be haphazard like this… not matching… not making a picture of something.
just color and awesomeness.
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i think i should have another wedding.  (same guy of course)
and have this as my bouquet.
but not the bridesmaids dresses… they look too much like the ones i had at my original wedding.  :)

 

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ha ha haaaaaa

 

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i am really digging black walls recently.
chalkboard and not chalkboard.

it feels dramatic and grown up.

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and then there’s this.
oh how i adore this room.
it looks so cozy and inviting.
i want to climb into that bed and stay for daysssss.

 

 

this video made me CRACK UP.

(apologies up front for the ball talk… but really… we (women) say dumb stuff like that all the time!)

TWINSIES!

my favorite line is at the very end past the credits.

….and i just noticed they are drinking wine out of jars.   HAAAAAAA!

 

so… here’s to hoping my computer arrives soon.
because you may be tired of posts of links.
??

maybe?

 

 

 

Tara - I am crying laughing at that video! Hysterical!!!!!! Thanks for sharing. Am I crazy? Am I annoying? Are you mad at me?

martha - O.m.goodness!! I love EVERYTHING that you posted! so perfect (and funny! the “what? I found this paint…”) I cracked up! Thanks for the laugh & have a happy day! :)

danielle - That video was hilarous! I am not sure I have those kinds of friends. I am pretty sure my friends would think I was crazy…

Ellen - That is an EXCELLENT quote!!! As long as you can see the irony in posting the beauty tip and the quote, you’re alright ;) And I love the video…that last line rings true to me. We moved a year ago and I keep talking about how I don’t like to make new friends, I already have the ones I like :)

Julie - I love that dress and that painted wall. Love the black bedrooms too. I would like to get remarried again (same guy) but with a different dress and flowers too. Thanks for the inspiration.

KirstenP - Meg, I think another wedding to the same guy is called a renewal of vows or vow renewal. Go for it! BTW, the bouquet would look great against that wall.
I just looked at the pumpkin French toast muffin – sounds delicious!

Karen - Hi Meg, As many times as I’ve visited here, I mostly keep track of you on Instagram. I can’t believe that I am just now getting the connection between Philippians 4:8 and your blog title. Duh. I love what you do and your new Camp Create looked wonderful. I plan women’s retreats for our ladies at church and I understand the work involved to make it wonderful. I don’t even do it in my own “home” or with multiple speakers. Great job and what a witness you have here. <3

Karen

Gevay Piercefield - Can’t you be holy and still have good hair? As long as the hair is not your priority and the holy is. I’m just wondering.

Lee Ann - I love these posts!

That video is hilarious!! I think my favorite part is how they sit on the sofa with their legs intertwined. 2 of my girlfriends and I sit like that all the time. So funny!

Jenn - Love it!

beth larson - Loved this post Meg…. kind of like Pinterest- hand picked for us! Love the e-card a lotttt….it’s so me too!

ira lee poore - ever thought of giving away a spot at the craft house? cause that would be kinda awesome!! especially if you gave it to me!!!! =)

Angie - Meg–don’t waste time on that bleaching technique. Just come to Tulsa and I’ll get you the best professional stuff at no charge. Let me know if you’re ever in town! My gift to you for all the entertaining blogging and inspiring me that life with 5 kids (as I have also) can be a blast!

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31Bits – Bitsies

i love 31Bits.
i love the look but i even more i love the company!
from their website:
Every purchase you make can either have a positive or negative impact on the world.  31 Bits is part of a movement revolutionizing the way people do business.  We value both the creator and the consumer.  The artisans in our program are receiving a sustainable income and holistic education, empowering them to rise above poverty. Our accessories are marked by fresh colors and crisp design. Our customers exemplify sophistication and compassion.  The heartbeat of 31 Bits is made of love, creativity, community, endless laughter, compassion, story telling, fashion, and frequent dance parties. 


i love the mission of 31Bits… empowering women out of poverty.

photo 3
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they just released their newest product “BITSIES”
and it’s adorable!!
teeny bracelets for the littlest world changers in your life.
they came up with a meaning for each color….
BITSIES – BE YOU.
Collect all 10 Bitsies bracelets! Each color is a reminder of how to live your life to the fullest and be the best version of yourself you can be!
Red – BE BRILLIANT
Use your brain and talents to complete every task with excellence!
Orange – BE SILLY
Mix-n-match your clothes or do a crazy dance – Make life fun!
Yellow – BE CHEERFUL
Brighten someone’s day with your smile.
Green – BE ADVENTUROUS
Go outside and explore the world.
Dark Blue – BE BRAVE
Take a risk and try something new today.
Light Blue – BE INCREDIBLE
Be amazing at being you.
Purple – BE CREATIVE
Sing, dance, paint, play an instrument…let your imagination run free.
Pink – BE LOVING
Lend a helping hand to a neighbor, friend, or classmate.
White Sparkle – BE KIND
Look for an opportunity to do something nice for someone else.
Multi-color – BE ORIGINAL
Stand out. Your differences make you beautiful.
************* THEY ARE ALL SO CUTE! *****************
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the Bitsies line is fabulous but so is everything in their catalog.
Go check out everything in their shop.and read about the women who create it!
i love this one….  dying over this new one…. this cuff is fabulous… and THIS one makes me smile – every color!
I’m so excited i get to share a discount code for you to shop at 31Bits!!

Use the code MEGS15 for 15% off your purchase today through October 3.
think ahead for birthday gifts or even christmas.
31 makes a GREAT gift!  you can’t go wrong with any of their jewelry.
and every purchase makes a difference!

Flower Patch Farmgirl - Well, I love the Bitsies.I love all their bling.

Cathy - Do the bracelets come with an explanation of the companies purpose and for the Bitsies a description for each color? I love them and want to give as gifts but I want to spread their message too.

Brooke - You find all the best companies! I love your sense of style, and I love that you have a passion for sharing about companies like this, that impact the livelihood of women. Thanks for the discount code…..I am excited to order for Christmas presents.

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - This is so perfect :) I wanted to get a gift for our MOPS table leader and our theme is “Be You Bravely”. So, the Brave Bitsie it is!

Mindy - What a cute idea with the message attached! On my way to check out the site.

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